1964 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible
Registration no. AUC 565B
Chassis no. DB5C/1285/R
Engine no. 400/1472
Aston Martins post-war evolution took a giant step forward with the launch of the DB4 in 1958. Classically proportioned, the Touring-designed body established an instantly recognisable look that would stand the marque in good stead until 1970. The engine was still an all-alloy twin-overhead-camshaft six, but the old W O Bentley-designed 3-litre unit had been superseded by a new design by Tadek Marek. Proven in racing before it entered production in the DB4, the new 3,670cc engine featured square bore and stroke dimensions of 92x92mm and developed its maximum power of 240bhp at 5,500rpm. The David Brown gearbox was a new four-speed all-synchromesh unit.
Tourings Superleggera body construction, which employed a lightweight tubular structure to support the aluminium-alloy body panels, was deemed incompatible with the DB2/4-type multi-tubular spaceframe, so engineer Harold Beach drew up an immensely-strong platform-type chassis. Independent front suspension was retained, the DB2/4s trailing links giving way to unequal-length wishbones, while at the rear the DB4 sported a live axle located by a Watts linkage instead of its predecessors Panhard rod. Five series were built as the model gradually metamorphosed into the DB5 of 1963. The latters distinctive cowled headlamps had first appeared on the DB4GT, and the newcomer was the same size as the lengthened Series V DB4. The DB5s 3,995cc engine, first seen in the Lagonda Rapide, produced 282bhp and was mated to a four-speed overdrive-equipped gearbox, a proper ZF five-speed unit being standardised later. Other improvements included alternator electrics, Girling disc brakes instead of Dunlops, Sundym glass, electric windows and an oil pressure gauge as standard equipment.
A convertible was available in addition to the standard DB5 saloon, while independent coachbuilder Harold Radford offered a shooting brake conversion. 1,021 DB5s were manufactured between July 1963 and September 1965, a total that included 123 convertibles and 12 shooting brakes.
The 27th DB5 convertible built, DB5C/1285/R was sold new to Cavendish Shop & Business Properties Ltd, 76 New Bond Street, London on 17th April 1964, its original colour scheme being platinum (white) with blue Connolly leather interior and matching hood. The car was owned by Major Hugh Marrack from the early 1980s, and in 1988 was sent to Goldsmith & Young for engine refurbishment, by which time it had been refinished in kingfisher blue. In 1993 it was bought by Martin Irthel, and in 1996 was sold at auction. The current owner purchased the car from The Garage On The Green in October that same year.
In February/March 2005 the coachwork was bare-metal re-sprayed in Sierra Blue (an Aston Martin DB5 colour) and the engine rebuilt to 4.2-litre specification by Newlands Motors (Bill Goodall), having previously been converted to unleaded compatibility. The interior is upholstered in black leather. Presented in excellent condition, DB5C/1285/R comes with a substantial file of history, documentation, bills and old MoTs, including a photographic record of the recent repaint, and is offered with current road fund licence/MoT and Swansea V5 registration document.